Our Andy’s been training hard for this – putting the miles in around his local hills and on the trails behind the JMC offices. He’s a beating himself up about it, but he actually finished with a brilliant time….

My marathon running seems to follow a pattern that every three years or so it pops into my head that I am sure I can do better than the last one. This time being no different I felt if I could put enough time into training I could beat 3 hours, when I arrived at the start line of the Edinburgh Marathon I knew I probably had not done enough to beat my target of 3 hours but was confident that I could at least set off at that pace and slow down to a not too shabby 3.10 ish.

After 6 miles I was doing great, I had forgotten my running watch so pacing with my girlfriends pink swatch and split times scrawled in biro on my forearm added to the fun, as far as I could tell I was about three minutes ahead of 3 hr pace. At 8 miles my legs were aching which I knew was a bad sign so early, as I slowed down I was disappointed but also confident that as long as I kept going I would get a decent time. Hitting 18 miles at 2hr  10mins I was pleased that I hadn’t lost much time and was still on for 3.10, unfortunately though I lost more time over the last 8 miles and when I turned the corner into the finish at Musselborough race course I was gutted to see 3.22 on the clock, I crossed the line with an official time of 3:22:49.

Organisation was top notch and the course was very scenic, heading down from Edinburgh and along the coast from Leith out past Musselborough race course and back to finish at the racecourse. I am sceptical at the organisers claim to be the UK’s fastest marathon as both the blustery coastal weather and 2.15 course record indicate otherwise.

Whilst I would have been chuffed with sub 3.10 I am still pleased to beat my personal best by 4 mins. I think where I struggled exactly mirrored what I had missed in my training, I had done lots of short and fast running and racing between 6-8 miles, I also think I had done enough long runs with about five 20 milers under my belt but I don’t think I did any runs between 10 and 16 miles at all. I am not sure what course to take on next and if I should try for Autumn or wait for Spring next year but I’ll definitely be having another go soon.